The Atonement Child | Francine Rivers

Evie was informed that her grand daughter had been raped, and that she got pregnant as a result. Evie was immediately convinced that her sin of many years ago had caught up with her.

Hannah, Evie’s daughter learnt that Dynah her daughter had been raped. Guilt swept over Hannah. She felt her daughter was being punished for the errors of her yesterdays.

Dynah was raped. She didn’t bargain for it, afterall, she lived an exemplary life of purity and obedience to God’s will. Yet, it happened. And it threw her life into absolute chaos.


Francine Rivers’ books have long occupied spaces on my e-bookshelf, but just like my curious case with John Grisham, hadn’t been able to bring myself to read a single one of them. Well, safe to say my unwanted streak has ended with The Atonement Child. Thanks to Ess for recommending it. I owe the reawakening of my reading career to her.


So, I think it’s hardly ever a bad idea to do a recap (some say review) of books read, for public consumption, or for personal keeps. Always nice to come back to read the summaries that contain the most important points you must have put down. Nice for sentimental reasons, or for relearning/reeducation.


Dynah is the main character of the story. A girl raised in a christian home, attending a christian school, engaged to Ethan (some ‘great guy’ with a perfect future ahead of him.) Things were going well until she was raped. The physical and psychological violation had a lasting effect on the turn her life took in ways more complicated than she ever could imagine. I’d go on, but as I said earlier, this is meant to be a recap of a few points (lessons) I took away from the book, so here we go:

  1. You can be all good and do all good and unfortunate things will still happen to you. Bad things and bad people happen to good people and vice versa. There’s no point living with the illusion that life is exactly fair.Β 
  2. Prayer isn’t necessarily something you have to pre-plan. It could and indeed should be something you do any and everytime. Francine Rivers consistently incorporated simple, original, heartfelt prayers into the lives of her characters, and from the peek I’ve had into some of her other books, that’s her style. A lifestyle of ceaseless prayer ensures that the communication channel with the father is always open.
  3. The abortion choices and circumstances that Evie, Hannah and Dynah faced were not all the same. Francine Rivers made tremendous effort in making the reader to see that while the expected decisions to be taken by a christian in situations are mostly direct, Christians should learn to see angles that could lead to particular circumstances instead of being overly judgmental. It’s not enough to see said angles alone as well. It is expedient to empathize, and then look for ways to help people get through difficult times.
  4. Very often, the people who should know better hurt even more than strangers or children of wrath.
  5. While Dynah was still trying to stay away from her parents to be able to make decisions herself, Joe (bestfriend to her ex-fiance) offered her the chance to live with him for a while to get settled. Even though it seemed a convenient proposition at the time, she refused, citing “the appearance of wrongdoing and the witness (to other people) it bears” as the reason for her refusal. The Bible talks about cutting off the things we could do that could make other people stumble. The inviting choice that Dynah had that she refused is an excellent practical example of such.
  6. Adversity sometimes makes you grow faster and stronger than you would have managed to, had things gone more smoothly for you.
  7. What seems convenient and sensible may be very different from what God will have you do.
  8. We are all ministers, some of us just have smaller congregations.‘ Joe was an unrelenting source of Β help to Dynah throughout her troubles. Dynah was his ministry. He didn’t have to have so much, he didn’t have to be so much. The little he did with being who he was and being there went a long way in steadying the course of Diana’s life.
  9. Sometimes, indecision is not a fundamental flaw with you. It’s the weight of the stuff you’re dealing with.


There are numerous other points I put down and some others I probably couldn’t identify with at the time of reading. I encourage you to read the book yourself. Let it take you on a journey of realization and re-realization (of some things you’ve known before). Let it instruct you. Let it open your eyes to some of the major challenges people go through that you might take for granted or not even consider at all.

If you stuck with me this far, I really appreciate you.

I hope that your life be an expression of grace, and a proof of Love as you attack the week.

I love you. πŸ™‚




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4 responses to “The Atonement Child | Francine Rivers

  1. Point number 9, never have I thought of indecision that way. Hmmm
    Anyways now I want to read this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Honorary mention had me dancing πŸ’ƒ. I like the style of this review and how it highlights the connection these women share on the same issue which was dug up by one event in their lives.

    Lol at the reference to Ethan as some great guy. I believe he represents a lot of Christians who are stuck in their idea of what perfect Christianity is which happens to come disturbingly close to living by the law.

    You raised great points. Glad you’re reading again. Hope this streak stays a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You put it perfectly. Ethan represents a whole lot of Christians with self-righteousness as their default setting.
    Thank you so much for recommending the book and others, and for additional words that provide insight and clarity. I hope the streak stays alive too. πŸ™


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